10.15.2015 07:28 AM

KCCCC Day 74: the seventh inning and election 42 – a comparative analysis


  • Look, I’m a Red Sox fan.  I ain’t jumping’ on no bandwagon.  But I’d fed the dogs, the wife was out with her girlfriends, the kids were all doing homework or out, and there were turkey leftovers in the fridge. So I watched the baseball game.
  • It was the most exciting baseball game I’ve ever watched.  And that seventh inning – which people will be talking about until they die – was extraordinary.  And it got me to thinking: that seventh inning was like this election campaign.  And what good is a political analysis without some clichéd sports analogies, right? So here we go.
  • The length of it, for starters.  The Jays-Rangers inning went for almost an hour, around 53 minutes.  This election campaign has dragged on for just about 80 days, which is basically two-and-half elections in one.  The average length of a major league baseball game inning is maybe 20 minutes, rule changes notwithstanding.  So last night’s seventh inning was, like the election, a hum-dinger.
  • The game’s low point.  The deciding Jays-Rangers game reached its nadir – if you’re a Jays fan – when Toronto catcher Russell Martin threw the ball back to the pitcher – and it deflected off Shin-Soo Choo’s bat.  That, according to a bizarre MLB rule no one had ever heard of,  meant the ball was in play – and the Rangers’ Rougned Odor was allowed to score the tie-breaker.  The assembled Jay’s fans went nuts, with some idiots throwing full beer cans onto the field (and each other) – and delaying the game.   The Jays filed an official protest, but the run counted.
  • The election’s low point? Well, for me, it was the niqab.  The Conservatives and the Bloc weren’t breaking any official rules when they raised the issue – they had the right to do so, I guess.  But they shouldn’t have done so.  It brought out the worst in many people (like the Jays fans), and it was an ugly way to get ahead (like the Texas Rangers).  That said, it inspired a bit of heroism – in particular, Messrs. Mulcair and Trudeau saying they disagreed, and at their own peril in their home province of Quebec, too.  The Jays got past the ugliness, and so did the politicians who spoke up for tolerance.  In the end, it didn’t hurt Trudeau electorally, and it helped Mulcair reputationally – I, for one, will always admire the NDP leader’s guts.
  • Lotsa errors.  The Jays won, sure.  But if Jays fans are being honest with themselves, as they nurse hangovers this morning, they’ll admit the Rangers largely handed the game to them, with  a trio of bizarre errors in the seventh  – dropped balls, missed balls, and balls going awry.  That set the stage for Jose Bautista to send a rocket into left-centre field –  a three-run homer that put the Jays ahead 6-3. (I’m in the minority, but I didn’t like his little bat flip – he was entitled to do it, like Justin Trudeau musing yesterday about a majority, but it was potentially dangerous.)  And that was the game, pretty much.
  • All of the teams competing in Election 42, however, had errors.  Not just one.  All of them offered up the saddest gaggle of candidates anyone can remember – truthers, anti-Semites, racists, stalkers, haters, Hitler comparisons and even a guy who peed in a cup when he thought no one was looking.  It was pretty pathetic.  It was a disgrace.  And they did it to themselves, too.  Unforced social media errors, right across the board.
  • The big hit.  Joey Bats, natch.  He propelled the ball into the parking lot, and it will keep rolling through Toronto’s consciousness for years to come.  But all of us in Toronto – if we are again honest with ourselves – never expected it.  We expected to do what Toronto teams always do, which is choke.  Similarly, the Liberals.  After they squandered their pre-playoffs high, we (or at least I) expected them to continue to do badly when it counted, during the election. But Trudeau swung true – during the debates, mainly, after that CPC ad had lowered expectations about him to the sub-basement – and he connected.  The ad that pulled him down also made him soar.  Similarly Bautista – the Hellish seventh inning pissed him off, and he turned it into a win.
  • Anyway, the foregoing is taking politics and sports comparisons to an absurd level, I know.  But Election 42 will always remind me of inning seven – the length of both, the low points that became high points, the errors, the big dramatic play.  That’s just me, of course, readying to retire KCCCC until Election 43 happens (or until the Lord takes me home to the field of dreams, whichever comes first).  What do you think, gentle baseball/politics fan?
  • Oh, and in case you don’t think politics and baseball aren’t inextricably linked – the Jays are playing the Royals on Election Day! Can you imagine Major League Baseball doing this on a U.S. Election Day?


  1. Cath says:

    As someone who follows politics (and baseball) pretty closely, this election has to be one of the most disappointing one EVER. Enough to make me consider walking away from my political interests completely. I’m motivated to cancel my cable subscriptions, all news papers, and be more selective of where I get my information because more than the disappointing campaigns on all sides the media and pollsters have killed things big time.

    I used to care. I don’t any more.

    IMO the Blue Jay win did more to unite the country than have any of the candidates or their campaigns so far.

    • Christian says:

      Well put Cath. I agree with absolutely everything you said. Yes the Jays have and are doing more to unite this country than any of the leaders. The jays first home game against the Royals is on the 19th at 7PM. I’ve already voted at the advance polls so I’m good from that angle. But will I watch the returns? No fucking way. What would be the point anyway? I have a feeling all the talking heads will mainly be talking to themselves Monday night.

  2. MississaugaPeter says:

    It ain’t over till it’s over.

    • Mervyn Norton says:

      You hit for the cycle, Warren, on the topics of length of game, low point, errors, and choking vs hitting. One of the best analyses I’ve seen in these political playoffs.

  3. Michael says:

    Jenni Byrne is a horrible strategist and campaign manager. They should have been hammering their low tax message all along. If Doug Finley was still alive, no doubt they would have done better. I always knew that Trudeau would perform well in the debates and on the campaign trail. He should never have been underestimated. Nobody expected the shiny pony to beat Patrick Brazeau in the boxing match.

    The Cons failed to understand how much the electorate loves Trudeau and hates Harper. Harper was hated even before he became PM. If it weren’t for that RCMP letter, Martin would have for sure won in 2006. Harper was also lucky that Dion and Iggy were hated even more by the electorate than he was.

    Harper should have been dumped in summer 2014 after Wynne got her surprise majority and Duffy got charged. If the Cons knew what was going to happen to oil prices, I’m sure he would have been pushed out.

    Barring a national security incident in the next few days, Trudeau will win a minority government on Monday and I predict that he will win a majority in the following election. The Cons will be out of office for quite some time to come.

    • Matt says:

      Careful counting those chickens before they hatch.

      Yo may be right of course, but most polling suggest there are still 19% to 22% undecided (Nanos I think has been reporting about 10.5%).

      And Angus Reid suggests those undecideds will make up their minds Sunday or just before they vote Monday. Lots can still happen to affect their vote.

      Will Trudeau’s majority talk? Will the Liberal campaign co-chairs lobbying advice letter and subsequent resignation? Will the CPC brothel in your neighborhood ads? Will the Lib/NDP slap fight over allegations Liberals are telling people NDP candidate Nycol Turmel is dying?

      Time will tell.

      It’s all going to come down to the parties GOTV. Libs get their vote – especially the 18 to 34 group out, they probably win. If not the CPC probably win.

    • Cory says:

      You have to admit that it its remarkable that Harper is still at around 30%.

      They’ve thrown everything, EVERYTHING at him and after 10 years in power he’s still at 30%. If a united Conservative party can keep up this base level of support they will be a serious political player for a long time.

  4. Matt says:

    The Trudeau majority thing:

    1) It is dangerous as Harper found out in 2004.

    2) Trudeau was answering a question in French. I found it very interesting he refused to repeat the answer in English when asked, considering even if people don’t speak a word of French can recognize the French word for majority. So why he refused to repeat it at that moment in English I don’t know.

    3) It’s dangerous because a poll a few days ago, which I can’t find at the moment, there’s been so freaking many, asked about a CPC, Lib or NDP majority. The results were quite clear – NONE of them deserved a majority government. And the numbers weren’t even close. Does Trudeau talking about a majority give pause to people who are willing to vote Trudeau a minority to see how he does as PM? Time will tell.

    4) Will it be viewed by voters as cocky or a return to the old Liberal arrogance? Again, time will tell. Look the goal of EVERY party is a majority, but should they be openly discussing it?

    • Matt says:

      Forgot to add, this different from what the NDP were doing earlier in the campaign, openly boasting about putting their transition team together. THAT was arrogant.

      Sure, putting together a transition team, seeking advice of those who have done it in the past is a responsible thing to do. But openly talking about it was just stupid.

    • Ridiculosity says:

      That “majority” thing?

      Where’s the fault in wanting to win it all? (Just ask the Blue Jays or their fans.)

      Saying otherwise would be disingenuous at best.

      Just because Canadians are known for being nice, doesn’t mean we can’t also be both ambitious and successful.

  5. billg says:

    You forgot to equate people who use a picture of Hitler or anything Nazi to the morons who throw half full and full cans of beer at ball games….the IQ has to be about the same.

  6. Phil Evans says:

    Is it just me, or is the CPC starting to look a little crazed & desperate:


    • cassandra says:

      I know hey! Its so awful and yet the con supporters can only seem to get outraged when people call this type of shit, nazism, or egregious in other ways that apparently are hyperbolic. The cons, they never cease to amaze, too bad its not in a good way. Yet Lynton Crosby was able to sell his crap to a base, I really hope Canada wipes the cons off the map on the 19th.

      • cassandra says:

        thanks for posting that link Phil, hadnt realized the liz had left, great stuff at the end of why, I shake my head at the great leader collaborating with the fords. That is really a bad move for the law and order folks to hang with a self proclaimed crack addict( now fully admitted, with the smoking pipe, the pics, and the sideshow entourage)

  7. Matt says:


    Blue Jays – Royals game 3 in Toronto Monday October 19th.

    Wonder if it will affect turnout, but I’ll guarantee it gets higher ratings than the election coverage.

  8. Sm says:

    I think back to the Toronto fans gathering in the streets of Toronto in 1992 after the Jays won the world series. A spontaneous expression of pure joy. Immediate and heartfelt. I hope that we see another spontaneous expression of pure joy when Harper is defeated. I for one will rush out of my house into the street yelling, “Hooray!”, and I suspect that I will not be the only one. Fingers crossed.

  9. DougM says:

    Disagree with your points on the niqab. Only a few politicians and media pundits believe it is about tolerance. Three quarters of Canadians (crossing provinces and political boundaries) believe it is oppression and four fifths believe it should be removed during the citizenship ceremony. That’s not a low point, that is simply some politicians, pundits and media being out of touch with Canadian values on women’s rights and misogyny.

  10. Ridiculosity says:

    I admit there were a few moments in the game when I was scared.

    Hazel McCallion? Nope: https://youtu.be/AoTsne3QxM8

    • Mike Adamson says:

      Best ad of the campaign

      • Jack D says:

        Liberals have had some really great ads during this campaign. But next to the really bad (visually speaking) ads the Conservative’s have been putting out, almost anything would look great.

        Personally, I think the most creative ad award goes to the NDP candidate in Stephen Harper’s riding.

  11. doconnor says:

    People have said Mulcair will resign if the NDP get around 80 seats as currently predicted. I don’t think he will. Matching or beating Layton’s extraordinary mark would have been difficult. It will be still the NDP’s second highest number of MPs.

    In the event of a minority it is even less likely since there could be an election at any time. Also, they won’t want to have an NDP leadership race at the same time as the Conservative leadership race.

    • godot10 says:

      Why would Mulcair quit, when he can demand two or three cabinet seats? It is a reasonable request. Why retreat from the new line in the sand for NDP support drawn by Layton in 2008?

      How can Trudeau refuse, especially when people want Harper gone? It would be arrogant to refuse. It would send the country back into another election to refuse.

      Mulcair and the NDP have to have backbone on a formal coalition with membership in Cabinet. And with the only legislative condition being proportional representation being one of the first group of bills introduced.

      Mulcair would go from goat to hero.

      • Matt says:

        Trudeau’s already said he’ll work with the NDP……….. as long as Mulcair ISN’T their leader.

      • Jack D says:

        Why would he quit? Because been there, done that.

        Mulcair has already been in cabinet, he knows what its like taking marching orders for a leader and he obviously didn’t take to it so well. Mulcair isn’t the type to take direction and a very conceited air to him. Anyone who’s ever known him from Quebec politics knows this.

        But most importantly, Mulcair didn’t run for leadership of the NDP to play second fiddle to anyone else, he wanted to become leader because he wanted to Prime Minister. The last thing Mulcair would ever want to do is have Justin Trudeau dictate his role to him in a potential cabinet.

        And if one thing was clear though this entire election, its that Mulcair has absolutely no intention of serving under Justin Trudeau. He’s made his contempt for Trudeau very clear and Trudeau would be absolutely senseless to trust a man like that. Which is why the Liberal leader clearly indicated, he’ll work with the NDP as long as that a**hole Mulcair isn’t leader.

        Thomas Mulcair has no one else to blame but himself. He took Layton’s gains and lost them, he’s put the NDP in a position as a junior partner to the Liberals and he’s made the relationship between himself and Trudeau toxic before any agreement could be struck.

        This man isn’t going to stay around a day longer after October 19th.

        • Vancouverois says:

          He might if it’s a Liberal or Conservative minority. In that case all he needs is for Trudeau to screw up badly enough within a few months, and then once again he has a shot.

          • Jack D says:

            Maybe Mulcair can ask Harper what its been like waiting for Trudeau to screw-up badly. Its just not a strategy thats workable and Mulcair doesn’t have the luxury of waiting around for something spectacular to happen for him.

            Truth is, the NDP only had one shot. It took decades for them to hold any relevancy in the HoC. Going back to third party status is a huge setback for them and hurts their credibility as an alternative to Harper.

        • doconnor says:

          I guess Mulcair could support a Liberal government on a vote-by-vote basis without a coalition. The fact that the NDP won’t support a Conservative government means that he has very little leverage anyway.

    • Matt says:

      In a minority parliament the NDP, assuming they’re dropped to third will have much more power than they did as Official Opposition in a majority.

      But as I said yesterday, read between the lines of what Mulcair is saying because it’s changed – His goal is to ensure HARPER doesn’t serve one more day as PM, not his goal is to ensure the CPC don’t form the next government.

      IF there is a CPC minority does he say to Harper step aside, have a leadership convention, I’ll support you guys for 12 to 18 months, then we’ll head back to the polls. He’ll still be able to say he got rid of Harper.

      With the increasing dislike between the Libs and NDP, I just don’t see a way they can work together effectively. There was a headline yesterday – “Potential Liberal, NDP co-operation in minority government situation could be difficult, Mulcair says”

      • Mitch says:

        This won’t happen. NDP and Liberal volunteers would be outside his and Trudeau’s house with torches and pitchforks if this happened. I didn’t volunteer, attend rallies and canvas to keep a conservative government in power.

      • Vancouverois says:

        In a minority parliament the NDP, assuming they’re dropped to third will have much more power than they did as Official Opposition in a majority.

        Will they, though?

        Sure, in theory they can vote with the Conservatives to bring down the Liberals. But they can’t afford to do that too soon after the election, or they’re basically telling the country to vote in a Liberal majority instead.

        And they surely would never vote down a Liberal minority just to replace it with a Conservative minority, so that simply isn’t a threat they can use. Even if Harper were gone, I just don’t believe the NDP’s MPs would stand for it, never mind the general membership.

        So unless Trudeau behaves in a way that is unbelievably arrogant as soon as he takes office (and hey, I’m not ruling that out!), any minority Parliament quickly resolves into a Liberal minority government that has at least one or two years to govern like a majority. And if Trudeau DOES somehow heroically manage to piss of the NDP enough that they’re willing to vote him down, we go back into another general election.

        • Vancouverois says:

          I should amend this by acknowledging that of course the NDP would still have a lot of power to force concessions on individual pieces of legislation, so long as the Liberals didn’t declare them to be matters of confidence. But they’d be in a poor position to affect important stuff like the budget; and any legislation to implement the TPP should garner support from the Conservatives (unless they make a deliberate decision to be ornery, which is a political risk for them).

          So I do think the NDP would have more power than they did as Opposition under the Conservative majority… but still not so much that they could demand Cabinet positions with impunity.

    • Vancouverois says:

      Matching or beating Layton’s extraordinary mark would have been difficult. It will be still the NDP’s second highest number of MPs.

      True; but this time, the NDP was hoping for much more. They were in majority range when this campaign started, but under Mulcair’s leadership they’ve now dropped to third party yet again. And much of the NDP membership may be galled by the fact that Trudeau seems to have outflanked them on the left by promising deficits, where Mulcair forced his party to campaign on a balanced budget.

      I don’t think most NDP members have ever particularly liked Mulcair. They chose him as leader because he was an architect of their triumph in Quebec in 2011, and seemed like the best bet to seal the deal and form the first federal NDP government ever in 2015. If he fails, I expect the knives to be out. He may well still stay on, but I think he’ll have a fight on his hands.

  12. Ken moved from the Annex says:

    Since when do they sell beer in cans at the Dome? The last time I went they practically strip searched us for contraband before they’d let us in.
    Election? Oh right. Next week, yes?

  13. Matt says:

    Justin Trudeau:

    I accepted the resignation of my campaign co-chair to show we take the issue of ethics seriously.

    Really? If that were true you wouldn’t have sent out a press release standing behind him. You would have fired him abd not waited for him to resign.

  14. Dork in East York says:

    Warren, I like the “Shy Tory Factor” you mentioned last week, and think Canadian pollsters are under-representing Conservative support. I’m still leaning slightly towards a Liberal government, but I think a majority is still a ways away.

    I know you live in my riding of Beaches-East York. It looks like Erskine-Smith has the momentum over the NDP incumbent. With the probable exception of Toronto-Danforth – happy to hear you dodged that bullet – it’s quite possible all of the 416 goes red on the 19th.

    • Warren says:

      Nate is gonna win

      • Ridiculosity says:

        Nate certainly deserves to win by dint of sheer hard work alone…

        Last winter, starting in December, even when it was -37°C outside and we were all inside burrowing beneath comforters, Nate was out knocking on doors. Then he knocked on more doors. And he’s still knocking on them today.

        His great integrity and the Master of Laws degree he holds from Oxford University? The icing on the cake.

  15. T. Saxon says:

    Moral Debasement

    The so-called progressive factions have taken issue with the notion that certain customs are named as barbaric.

    Recall that what precipitated these initiatives was the discovery of four bodies pulled from the Rideau Canal. Zainab 19, Sahar 17, Geeti 13, and Rona Amir 50 were murdered in cold blood. Innocent lambs, young women with all their days stretched out before them, offered up as human sacrifices to appease a cruel and insatiable idol called “honour.”

    In Europe, female genital mutilation (FGM) – in most cases, the entire removal of the clitoris – has blighted the lives of approximately 680,000 women and girls. Yet just a handful of people have been prosecuted. Canada reflects the same trend. They have been robbed of a natural and normal sexuality, that pleasure unique to females that can sweeten the often bitter lot of women.

    Progressives have demonized conservatives as Nazis; the CBC has descended to “Herr Harper” and “Stasi Steve.” In light of the preceding, it is self-evident that it is progressives who lack the political will and courage to draw a moral line across the political landscape and fight Islamo-fascism. It is they who have betrayed the Enlightenment and progress.

    • Derek Pearce says:

      1) When those 4 bodies were discovered in the canal, the police were called, not a special snitch line. The police and the crown secured criminal convictions and sentences. Imagine that, all without a snitch line.

      2) It’s pretty much going to be health care professionals and maybe in some cases teachers who could detect and report cases of FGM. Not some Mrs. Kravitz spying on the brown people next door and calling a snitch line. “Abner! ABNER! I smell curry wafting out their window! Abner, call the RCMP!”

      Give your head a shake. I don’t think Herr Harper is appropriate in this case, but Stasi Steve is a 100% legit nickname after this stunt.

  16. Mark says:

    Munenori Kawasaki’s advice to all the parties in the final days of the campaign: “No thinking! Just work! Just call! Just get out vote! No thinking everybody! JUST WIN!”

  17. Vancouverois says:

    The latest from Nanos…

  18. Matt says:


    Visited a job site today in Eastern Scarborough (it’s the riding where Mr. pee in a cup was running).

    This morning, all the big NDP candidate signs now have a big Thomas Mulcair sign with a big pic of smiley Tom right beside the candidate sign. They weren’t there Tuesday.

    • P Brenn says:

      yikes ..”Big” ,”Mad”, “Parisien” or “happy” Tom, “the second oldest of 10 kids” is a real positive for the NDP ….signs must have been xtras

  19. Jon Powers says:

    Red Sox suck worse than the Yankees. This is proven by science.

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